Carousel Ads, Angry Tweets… Facebook & Chill?
Welcome back for another Social Update, I’m your host: Conner, one of the Directors here at Junction. In case you’re just joining us, the Social Update is a weekly post where we break down what’s new, changing, trending, appalling, or otherwise worth talking about in the social & digital.
You can get the news just about anywhere, but we’re bringing you what it actually means, and whether you should bother paying attention (example: Ello = No. Snapchat = Yes).
Pro Tip: I litter these posts with little link gems that may take you to a Quartz article that blows your mind, and could just as easily be a perfectly-appropriate Gif-bomb, or anything in between. I’ll leave it to you to decide whether that’s worth your click.
Here we go, the bits of knowledge and news that matter this week:
Facebook carousel ads are legit but the data isn’t, yet
The big news on agency-read blogs this week was a study that came out claims that it’s been determined that “Carousel Ads are 10 Times Better Than Regular Ads”
Here’s the problem with general statements: They’re always flawed (see what I did there?).
There’s also an obvious bias towards a headline that’s going to get people excited, and something like “Initial Numbers Indicate that One Metric Is Tracking Better From Carousel Ads” just isn’t going to cut it.
What the group that published the information actually found was that Carousel Ads are getting a 1% click through rate (meaning: 1 out of every 100 people who see the ad click on it), whereas “regular” ads are getting a 0.1% click through rate (1 out of every 1000).
There are several things wrong with this, most importantly: If the primary metric for measuring the success of ads is their click through rates, and this ad unit is getting a 0.1% click through rate, then there’s a bigger problem. That ad unit is broken.
This is one of the core issues that comes up when measuring ads: It’s useful to create a standard, or average rate, so we do, but we forget the most important part of the ad: The content that’s in it.
The number 1 thing that’s going to affect the number of people who click an ad is the ad itself, not minor changes to the format.
So, as with most data in the news, there’s a kernel of truth to be pulled from the fancy wrapping. In this case, the kernel is that carousel ads are getting attention, and people are clicking them. It remains to be seen how much of that is the novelty-factor that comes from a shiny new thing showing up in people’ s feeds, and how much of it is the greater opportunity for brands to create cool stuff that people are interested in.
IHOP Needs an Undo Tweet Button
I’m just gonna leave this here…
Uh @IHOP I really must advise against. pic.twitter.com/wFKzP1YDSR
— Katie Mack (@AstroKatie) October 18, 2015
So, a while back, a few brands like Arby’s, Taco Bell and Denny’s got themselves a lot of attention by channeling their inner teenagers onto their social feeds, and (except for a few missteps), the result has been pretty overwhelming for the brands.
The line between edgy and out-of-touch-Uncle is almost impossible to see, especially when the people signing the cheques resemble that Uncle, but brands can be forgiven a groaner here and there. What’s a real mystery is that anyone would mistake a schoolyard insult for a youthful brand message that the internet wouldn’t swarm onto the way that the internet does.
Butter Face, IHOP? Really?
So, here’s why that all matters right now: Brands should be on high alert this week, especially when addressing women’s or body-image issues.
I’m sure that many of you are thinking the same thing as me: Why are we so insistent on hijacking social issues to inject brand messaging in the first place? After we’ve seen fail, after fail, after fail, you’d think that we’d learn, or we’d re-evaluate whether we’re adding to the conversation in the first place. If IHOP teaches us anything, here’s hoping that it’s to consider how we’re positively advancing important issues, otherwise leave them alone entirely.
Facebook May be Coming For Netflix With its Video Tab
The latest feature in the ever-evolving Facebook-world could be one that ends up changing how we find and consume video.
The world’s largest social network has added a Video tab. That may seem like a minor feature, but we’ve been watching what Facebook’s been doing with video for the past few months, as it quickly encroaches on YouTube’s turf, debating how it might overcome the discovery problem and the monetization issue.
The bottom line was, until now, that Facebook videos were getting more views and shares than YouTube videos, but it still wasn’t a place that people went searching for video content. That meant that it was difficult for video content creators to get their videos out there, and people wouldn’t crack their laptops open, navigating over to Facebook intentionally looking to watch videos the way that they do on YouTube.
The addition of a Videos tab opens up all of those possibilities for video content – we can now get recommended videos, see what other people are watching, even search for specific types of video in an even more targeted way than we can on Google’s YouTube. The next level will be when Facebook starts using the information that they have about us to make it possible for every one of the video features to be many times more powerful and accurate.
You know how Netflix asks you to rate what you just watched? That allows it to continually refine the content that it shows you to make it more relevant to you. But what if it knew which concerts you had been to recently? And what types of links you click, or the places you like to travel? Imagine the level of personalization that it could offer to you then.
Facebook has all of that stuff, and a nearly infinite amount more.
Will Facebook be releasing the next Breaking Bad next season? Probably not. But it will certainly let you know about your next binge-watch before you’ve heard of it, and with Facebook payments, it’s going to become easier than ever for publishers to share in the revenue that Facebook makes from the views.
I’ll be back for more on that, and whatever else is happening next week.
In the meantime, watch for @RFWhyte’s post this Wednesday on creating better organic posts by testing through paid (just think: no angry special interest groups!), or you can check out everything that’s been happening over at Twitter in last week’s Social Update.
See you next Monday,